Visa exemption to be discussed at National Assembly next week

Vietnamese tourism promotion and visa exemption will be discussed at the ongoing session of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son will answer questions related to the issue of visa exemption for citizens of certain countries on March 18, according to the government’s portal.

In a report submitted to the committee before the question-and-answer session, Son said his ministry will work closely with the Ministry of Public Security to propose the list of eligible countries for unilateral expansion.

He said his ministry has been increasing promotion campaigns about Vietnam’s visa policy and guiding foreign citizens to carry out e-visa applications.

Last month, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ordered the ministries of foreign affairs and public security ministries to expand the list of countries whose citizens are unilaterally exempted from visas from the current 13.

The list now has Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Belarus.

Vietnam now waives visas for travelers from 25 countries compared to 162 for Malaysia and Singapore, 157 for the Philippines, 68 for Japan, 66 for South Korea and 64 for Thailand.

Many Southeast Asian countries are increasing their competitiveness to attract foreign tourists with visa-free policies. Thailand and Malaysia have waived visas for Chinese and Indian tourists since late last year.

Under the current immigration policy, Vietnam grants three-month tourist visas for citizens from all countries and territories.

The government also tripled the duration of stays in Vietnam to 45 days for citizens of 13 countries unilaterally exempted from visas from August last year.

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